Studying A Level Languages – What’s to gain?

Studying A Level Languages – What’s to gain?


This year’s A level results showed a marked decline in the uptake of modern foreign languages. French fell by 6.5% in one year, and Spanish and German also revealed similarly alarming declines.

A spokesperson for the Russell Group of universities commentated, ‘If the UK is to engage fully with the wider world in business, diplomacy and academia, we need more young people studying languages’. Obviously, the low uptake level of A level modern foreign languages will affect the number of people choosing and being accepted on modern foreign language degree level courses.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb stated that the introduction of the new EBacc has led to an actual increase in the study of modern foreign languages at GCSE and that this growth will filter through to A levels over the next few years. But nevertheless, the current decline at A level is a worrying trend.

But why should someone choosing their A levels decide to study a modern foreign language?

Learning a foreign language opens up the doors to a wealth of future education and career options. There are no areas of industry that wouldn’t benefit from a work force primed with language skills.

Choosing an A level language is a really great move if you want to study a fascinating subject that opens up whole range of career possibilities. Language courses are incredibly varied and interesting subjects to study and provide a broad range of knowledge and skills. Plus, a language is also needed for a large number of university courses, which again will open up a large number of career pathways.

Having a language degree can increase a graduates salary from between 8 to 20% and can give them a head start when applying to a company who trades internationally.

So, what sort of careers can languages lead into? Well, as I have already said, languages can be a great skill to have in any industry and at any level. More specifically, languages can help someone to get into:

  • Translation
  • Finance
  • Education
  • Tourism
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Government, politics and diplomacy
  • Media
  • Engineering
  • Publishing

Take a look at our career profiles for these career areas and industries, and discover more details, such as work activities, salary details, entry routes, qualifications etc. Find out about exactly where modern foreign languages can take you, and where you can study them.

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